(a) Definition. Continuation area means an additional area (outside the service area) within which the MA organization offering a local plan furnishes or arranges to furnish services to its continuation-of-enrollment enrollees. Enrollees must reside in a continuation area on a permanent basis. A continuation area does not expand the service area of any MA local plan.
(b) Basic rule. An MA organization may offer a continuation of enrollment option to MA local plan enrollees when they no longer reside in the service area of a plan and permanently move into the geographic area designated by the MA organization as a continuation area. The intent to no longer reside in an area and permanently live in another area is verified through documentation that establishes residency, such as a driver's license or voter registration card.
(c) General requirements.
(1) An MA organization that wishes to offer a continuation of enrollment option must meet the following requirements:
(i) Obtain CMS's approval of the continuation area, the communication materials that describe the option, and the MA organization's assurances of access to services.
(ii) Describe the option(s) in the member materials it offers and make the option available to all MA local plan enrollees residing in the continuation area.
(2) An enrollee who moves out of the service area and into the geographic area designated as the continuation area has the choice of continuing enrollment or disenrolling from the MA local plan. The enrollee must make the choice of continuing enrollment in a manner specified by CMS. If no choice is made, the enrollee must be disenrolled from the plan.
(d) Specific requirements -
(1) Continuation of enrollment benefits. The MA organization must, at a minimum, provide or arrange for the Medicare-covered benefits as described in § 422.101(a).
(2) Reasonable access. The MA organization must ensure reasonable access in the continuation area -
(ii) By ensuring that the access requirements of § 422.112 are met.
(3) Reasonable cost sharing. For services furnished in the continuation area, an enrollee's cost-sharing liability is limited to the cost-sharing amounts required in the MA local plan's service area (in which the enrollee no longer resides).
(4) Protection of enrollee rights. An MA organization that offers a continuation of enrollment option must convey all enrollee rights conferred under this rule, with the understanding that -
(i) The ultimate responsibility for all appeals and grievance requirements remain with the organization that is receiving payment from CMS; and
(ii) Organizations that require enrollees to give advance notice of intent to use the continuation of enrollment option, must stipulate the notification process in the communication materials.
(e) Capitation payments. CMS's capitation payments to all MA organizations, for all Medicare enrollees, are based on rates established on the basis of the enrollee's permanent residence, regardless of where he or she receives services.